Ramblings: Lightning and Senators Strike, Another Vegas Goalie Down (Oct 22)

Ian Gooding

2017-10-22

Lightning and Senators Strike, Another Vegas Goalie Down, plus more…

Let’s cut right to the chase for a Saturday that had its share of offense, hopefully for your fantasy team.

The score that was the most eye-popping of the night was the Tampa Bay – Pittsburgh game. Thought to be a possible preview of the Eastern Conference Final, this game got out of hand very quickly, with your Bolts having a far more successful night than your Pens.

We shouldn’t be surprised at all that Nikita Kucherov scored two goals and added an assist. He has scored at least one point in each of his nine games played, has multiple points in six of those nine games, and goals in all but one of those games. That Kucherov – Steven Stamkos line? Yeah, it works, and then some.

Then there’s Stamkos. You knew you were taking a bit of a chance on him given his recent injury history. But with a goal and three assists in this game, he’s doing some serious damage for fantasy teams. He also has yet to be held off the scoresheet in nine games. At this point it will be interesting to see how long the two of them can continue this dual point streak.

What about the third guy on this line? Vladislav Namestnikov needs to be universally owned at this point on association alone. You’ll be interested to know that with two assists in this game, Namestnikov has points in eight of nine games this season with ten points on the season. If he manages to stick on this line all season, he could be your breakout player of the season. Yes, it’s too early to be making such a bold prediction, but life is grand for Namestnikov at the moment.

Mikhail Sergachev scored another goal and added an assist. Again, I don’t think he’ll keep up this pace (eight points in nine games). But the fact that the game became one-sided allowed the Bolts to spread the icetime among their seven defensemen more evenly, so Sergachev played nearly 17 minutes. No Bolts’ blueliner reached the 20-minute mark in icetime, which is a rarity in a game nowadays.

On the Penguins’ side of things, Antti Niemi was left in for all seven goals. He’s allowed at least four goals in each of his three starts, which looks even worse if you consider that he lasted less than ten minutes in the four-goal outing. So his goals-against average is an astounding 7.50. Pittsburgh needs a different backup. Maybe they should try to sign Colin Kaep… oops, sorry, wrong sport.

At least Sidney Crosby contributed something in the penalty minutes category. He took a two-minute minor, then argued with the refs afterward and received a ten-minute misconduct. Not a night for him to remember.

*

On one fantasy team I have Frederik Andersen starting. On another fantasy team I h